Earth (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/11/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

With jaw-dropping photography and note-perfect narration by Patrick Stewart, Earth has been expertly edited into a compelling documentary with a strong ecological message.

What's it all about?
Produced by the BBC's Natural History Unit, Earth has been adapted from the recent TV series, Planet Earth, using the same footage but adding an impressive score and voiceover narration by Patrick Stewart.

Using the sun as a guide, the film follows three different mothers struggling to bring up their young: a polar bear and her two cubs waking up to the first sunlight of spring; an elephant mother in the Kalahari trying to protect her calf from a pride of hungry lions; and a humpback whale migrating 6,000 kilometres from the equator to the Antarctic.

The Good
Even if you didn't see Planet Earth on TV, you probably remember people saying Oh, that poor elephant or Those polar bears made me cry at work the next day. Accordingly, Earth is essentially a greatest hits package of the TV series, as it includes all the most memorable bits (lions ganging up on an adult elephant, a shark attack, a starving polar bear trying to eat a walrus, etc.).

Other highlights include: a wolf chasing a baby caribou, a caribou migration seen from the air, Birds of Paradise putting on a show, and a cheetah chasing – and catching - an antelope in slow motion. The filmmakers handily stop short of showing any actual eating but you may want to prepare yourself for some awkward questions from young children just in case.

The Great
On a technical level, the film is nothing short of astonishing, particularly in its use of cutting edge time-lapse photography (a sequence showing the growth of moss is especially eye-catching). Similarly, the film adds a valuable ecological message that encourages you to get involved.

Worth seeing?
Earth is entertaining, informative and well worth seeing on the big screen, particularly if you missed the TV series. Recommended.

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Content updated: 23/07/2018 01:23

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